The 5 Most Ridiculous Outer Banks Theories, Ranked By Plausibility
Please let the bandana theory go, y'all.
Outer Banks has inspired some of the wildest fan theories over the years. Although complicated theories about magical clothes and secret familial relations may seem over-the-top, Outer Banks is just ridiculous enough to actually pull them off, so fans have truly run wild with guesses about big, shocking reveals. Some seem a lot more likely than others, though. Now that Season 3’s adventure has come to an end, here are the Outer Banks Season 4 theories that really need to be addressed, even if just to finally debunk them once and for all.
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from throughout Outer Banks Season 3. Ever since the treasure-hunting teen drama began in 2020, fans have thrown themselves down theory rabbit holes trying to make some sense about everything happening. Between death fakeouts, ancient puzzles, and mysterious new characters, there’s no shortage of weirdness to unravel. And a few of these theories have become pretty prominent among the show’s fandom. So, heading into Season 4, let’s go over all of the absurd fan theories that could still be revealed to be true on the show... even if they sound super far-fetched.
To start, there’s the most pervasive and ridiculous OBX theory of all: John B’s bandana.
5. John B’s bandana is the healing shroud.
At this point, every Outer Banks fan has heard this one. Some people have convinced themselves John B’s bandana is actually the mystical shroud said to cure all illness that was meant to be located within the Cross of Santo Domingo. The bandana was notably featured when John B brought Sarah back to life in Season 2 and when he quickly recovered after his alligator attack. However, Season 3 threw a wrench into this theory, since Big John gave John B the bandana, and when Big John returned, he confessed he had no clue where the shroud was. It was a fun theory for a while, but it’s time to let this one go.
4. JJ and Sarah are secretly siblings.
Madelyn Cline herself is a big advocate for this theory, having told Cosmopolitan she’d love to see the show reveal Sarah and JJ are long-lost siblings. The only real basis for this theory is that both Sarah and JJ’s moms aren’t around and are never really brought up, and they both have blonde hair. It would certainly be a huge twist to learn JJ and Sarah have the same mom, but without any solid foundation yet, it still feels like a reach.
3. Carla Limbrey is John B’s mom.
Another missing-mom theory — some fans have been convinced for a while that Carla Limbrey may be much more connected to John B than it seems. Season 3 saw Carla working closely with Big John, and although their relationship never seemed romantic, she did drop some suspicious lines about the bond between Big John and his son. Could she have fled the Outer Banks while John B was a kid after inheriting a mansion in Charleston from her wealthy family? It may be a stretch, but at least it would flesh out Carla’s still-ambiguous backstory.
2. Mr. Sunn is related to Denmark Tanny, and knows everything about the treasures.
For a character who’s only appeared in a handful of scenes, the Pogues’ history teacher, Mr. Sunn, has been way too pivotal to all the treasure hunting going on. Fans first noticed in Season 2 how Mr. Sunn made a knowing remark suggesting he knew Pope was related to Denmark Tanny before anyone else. He also just so happened to find and translate Tanny’s diary, and he led Pope to the code that solved the El Dorado gnomon by telling him to check his family archives. He seems to be hiding a very deep knowledge of Tanny and all of his treasures, so much so that he may well be a Tanny descendant like Pope.
1. Season 4 will be one big flashback.
Season 3 ended with an 18-month time jump, and about a million things were left unexplained about what happened in that year and a half. It’s such a big skip that some fans are guessing the entirety of Season 4 will jump back in time to fully reveal what happened between the Pogues’ return from El Dorado to learning about Blackbeard’s lost ship. It doesn’t seem likely that the Blackbeard adventure won’t be addressed in Season 4, but co-creator Josh Pate did confirm that flashbacks would be heavily featured in the new season in a Netflix interview. So, fans will be getting at least some glimpses at that lapsed time.
Outer Banks Seasons 1 thorugh 3 are streaming on Netflix.